Category: Spurs

Believe!

Spurs’ recent run of poor form in the Premier League has whittled away the commanding lead they used to have over the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal in the race for Champions League qualifications. 

Spurs have not won in four and the Spurs fans have worked themselves into a frenzy at this state of affairs. But this is not the first time this season that Spurs have beaten almost impossible odds. So Spurs fans would do well not to forget the miracle that Mauricio Pochettino and his players achieved in the Champions League. 

Lest we all forget, after three games Spurs had only a single point and it looked all over for Spurs in their quest to qualify for the knockout phase. Against Inter and PSV, Spurs dropped points from winning positions and looked well and truly out of the competition. 

But somehow, Spurs turned things around beating PSV and Inter at Wembley in very tight affairs and getting the all-important point at Barcelona to edge past Inter in the head-to-head contest.

This minor miracle gave Spurs the platform to blitz past Borussia Dortmund and get into the final eight of the Champions League. In football, anything is possible, as Pochettino would repeat in every press conference, if you believe. 

So certainly, Spurs find themselves in a tense battle for top four places now but with eight games left – five at the new stadium – it is well within Spurs’ capability to get enough points to qualify for next season’s Champions League, in 3rd or 4th place. Believe! 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

Southampton 2 Spurs 1

It all went wrong for Spurs on the South Coast as the Champions League quarter-finalists failed to win in the Premier League for the fourth consecutive match. 

After dominating the first half – where their opponents Southampton did not register a single shot on target – there was an unsettling familiarity about the manner in which Spurs collapsed late in the second half. Spurs fans had seen this already at the San Siro against Inter, at Wembley against Wolves and recently at Turf Moor against Burnley. 

In each of the above instances, Spurs had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with lackadaisical defending and costly individual errors. This time the the full backs Kyle Walker-Peters and Danny Rose were clearly at fault at critical junctions. 

That said, if Spurs were more clinical in the first half, they could have killed off the Saints resistance within the first 10 minutes. With Dele Alli returning to the team, Spurs were buzzing with offensive intent – hitting the woodwork twice and Harry Kane (of all people) guilty of sloppy finishing. 

Kane – despite scoring his 200th career goal and maintaining his healthy scoring rate since his return from injury (4 goals in the last 5 matches) – could have had a hat-trick if he had been calmer as Spurs looked capable of slicing through the Saints defence at will. 

After all the accolades of that thoroughly professional performance in the Champions League in Germany, the Spurs appeared to assume that they would pick up the three points by simply turning up – their complacency was certainly their undoing. 

Even as Spurs advance in the Champions League, their chances of qualifying for the competition next season has come under serious threat with Man Utd and Chelsea now in a position to overtake them in the table, after Spurs’ recent poor league form. By the end of the next game – in 3 weeks time – against Liverpool at Anfield, Spurs could very well be out of the top four with a mountain to climb. 

It’s time for Mauricio Pochettino to work his magic once more because Spurs are in a proper scrap for the Top 4 now. 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

Match Preview : Southampton (Away)

After the heady heights of the mid-week win at Borussia Dortmund and qualification to the Champions League Quarter-finals, Spurs return to Premier League competition with a tricky away fixture at Southampton. 

Manager Mauricio Pochettino will be keenly aware that his team have not won in the league since the first leg Wembley win over Dortmund and will want Spurs to leverage on a brilliant away performance to return to winning ways. 

Pochettino can afford to be less cautious about team selection as Spurs have a three week break after this game before the crucial Anfield encounter against title-chasing Liverpool. 

The big team news is the availability of Dele Alli. It has been a start-stop season for Dele but hopefully he can provide Spurs with the creative spark to finish the season on a very high note. 

On the injury front, Keiron Trippier is definitely out and Harry Winks is being assessed for a groin problem. The Spurs players will be keenly aware of the dangers of succumbing to a Champions League hangover and I believe will pivot from the Dortmund victory to earn a vital three points at St. Mary’s. 

Possible line-up : Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Dier, Sissoko, Lamela, Dele, Son, Kane. (Eriksen needs a rest) 

Every single Spurs player a hero as a early 2n…

Every single Spurs player a hero as a early 2nd half from Harry Kane confirms Spurs’ place in the Champions League quarter-finals for only the 2nd time in our history! 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

Spurs 1 Arsenal 1

A North London derby Spurs were desperately lucky not to lose. 

Spurs were never quite at the races today, and have been struggling in the last two games as well. It is frightening to see Spurs run around the pitch like headless chickens, unable to string two passes together and seemingly second best to the ball constantly. 

The referee was diabolical all game, the two penalty awards were dubious and Spurs needed the agility of skipper Hugo Lloris to avoid defeat with a smart penalty save. 

Harry Kane did what he does best – score and duly registered a record 9th NLD goal. That was probably the two bright spots today – that and the man of the match performance from the tireless Moussa Sissoko. 

Fact is, we are missing the mercurial Dele Alli, his link up play and smart finishing have been sorely absent for some time now and hopefully his return from injury is imminent. 

Hopefully, the resilience shown at the end will do the players some good as they take a 3-0 lead to Dortmund on Tuesday. 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

Match Preview : Arsenal (H)

Like it or not, this particular North London derby has become the biggest game of the season. Until the next one, of course … 

Spurs are going through a bad patch right now – two consecutive away defeats to Burnley and Chelsea have somewhat made this NLD a six pointer in the battle for Top 4 and as usual, for the usual bragging rights.  

Anything less than a win cannot be contemplated. We need a Wembley performance similar to the 3-1 win over Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund, especially that heady 2nd half.

The thing is, besides the continued absence of Eric Dier and Dele Alli, there is a doubt over Jan Vertonghen and Harry Winks. Bad news all round. 

Manager Mauricio Pochettino would be more concerned that our attacking players failed to conjure up a single shot on target against Chelsea and changes need to be made. 

Is it time for Son Heung-Min to be given a rest? Or maybe even Christian Eriksen? Eriksen’s form has dipped alarmingly in recent weeks so maybe Erik Lamela should be given the nod instead – his fighting spirit will be much needed. 

1-0 to the Spurs like last season – I’d take that. But deep inside, of course, a thrashing of the Arse would be marvellous BUT the reality is that a win – obtained in whatever manner – is the main priority. 

Possible line-up : Lloris, Walker-Peters, Foyth, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose, Sissoko, Wanyama, Lamela, Moura, Kane. 

Match Preview : Chelsea (A)

Best time or worst time to play Chelsea? After all the brouhaha over the Carabao Cup final defeat and the Sarri-Kepa fiasco, playing Spurs at home might either see Chelsea rise to the occasion or fall apart in acrimony. 

In any case, Stamford Bridge has historically not been a happy hunting ground for Spurs and this might well be one that will be too difficult to win. 

However, after the Burnley loss, it’s likely that manager Mauricio Pochettino would have motivated the players to redeem themselves at the Bridge. 

On the injury front, Eric Dier and Dele Alli continue to miss out and with Harrry Kane coming through his goal-scoring return at Turf Moor unscathed, Spurs look stronger than the last time they played at the Bridge in the Carabao Cup Final. 

Could this be Spurs’ first league draw of the season? It’s been coming…

Possible lineup – Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Winks, Sissoko, Eriksen, Son, Kane. 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

Burnley 2 Spurs 1

Am not disappointed with this result to be honest. Have never believed that Spurs have been in the title race. For me, it’s always been top 4 from day 1 and in any case, it’s Man City’s title all the way. 

But what was annoying of course was the media narrative. Title contenders? Nope. Never a single moment this season. But of course, the media build us up to pull us down. Inevitably. 

Considering how we have been punching way above our weight in recent weeks with injuries etc it was only a matter of time before we would get unstuck. And Burnley away was that game. 

We were probably lucky to beat them at Wembley and this time our luck ran out. Say what you want about the corner from which Burnley got their opening goal, this defeat was mainly down to defensive errors from both Serge Aurier and Danny Rose. Upfront Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen were below par. 

The really important takeaway is that Harry Kane is well and truly back. Didn’t look rusty and he took his goal with some aplomb. He’s definitely up and running and that is crucial with Chelsea, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund looming. 

I sincerely hope the media leaves Spurs alone from now on and let us complete the job of Champions League qualification without any more unnecessary fuss. 

Credit to Burnley – they rode their luck, defended very well and took their chances. For Spurs, it’s time to re-group for the challenges ahead. 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

Match Preview : Burnley (Away)

After the sensational 3-0 Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund, Spurs have had a 10-day match break AND also welcomed back both Harry Kane and Ben Davies to training. 

Thus, the signs are very good for Spurs going into this crucial fixture against in-form Burnley at Turf Moor. With Liverpool playing Man Utd and Man City involved in the Carabao Cup final, a win today might bring Spurs within two points of the league leaders. 

With only Dele Alli a definite absentee, manager Mauricio Pochettino has many options at his disposal as he plots another 3 points on the road for Spurs – one of the best records in Europe. 

Pochettino will still have to consider the key matches that will come and thick fast after this fixture – a derby double-header in the Premier League at Chelsea (Wednesday, 8pm) and then Arsenal at Wembley (Saturday week, 12.30pm) followed by the Champions League Round of 16, second leg at Borussia Dortmund (Tuesday 5 March, 8pm).

Nothing less than 3 points will do. 

Possible line-up : Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Winks, Sissoko, Eriksen, Moura, Son. 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

Spurs 3 Borussia Dortmund 0

Even diehard Spurs fans must have felt that this Champions League tie against the Bundesliga leaders would be a mountain too high to climb for a Spurs team still missing star players Harry Kane and Dele Alli. 

Instead, Spurs turned on a 2nd half performance that made a mockery of Borussia Dortmund’s reputation with Spurs taking a commanding lead to Germany. 

Once Spurs got their noses in front – courtesy of a wonderful finish from Son Heung-Min – the confidence levels seem to visibly rise and Spurs continued to fashion decent chances while keeping Dortmund at bay at the back. 

Spurs have been scoring late goals in the last couple of games and once again, the 80th minute signalled the hunt for more goals from Spurs. 

First, man of the match Jan Vertonghen volleyed home a sumptuous Serge Aurier cross and then minutes later, substitute Fernando Llorente headed in from close range from Christian Eriksen’s excellent corner.

A first leg lead of three goals is a tremendous boost to Spurs’ chances of getting into the quarter-finals and with the likelihood of Kane and Dele returning, things are looking good for Spurs. 

Kudos to Mauricio Pochettino and the team for demonstrating their quality and winning ability on the biggest of stages. One to savour!

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!